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tv   Face the Nation  CBS  March 3, 2013 8:30am-9:00am PST

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here in the studio together. republican senator john mccain and republican senator lindsey graham. both in want studios. senator graham-- >> next qwester we're including you. ( laughter ) >> schieffer: i want to start off, senator graham, with something-- parent of that speech you said on the senate floor because it seemed to really kind of sum up the week that washington just went through. >> to me, this is pathetic leadership by the commander in chief. this is an abandonment of the republican party's belief in peace through strength. this is the low point in highway time independent united states congress. >> schieffer: and bill kristol, the editor of the "weekly standard" kind of the voice of establishment republicans he said the republicans have now-- his words, not mine-- "joined the president on the road to irresponsibility." he says, "history will judge both your republican party and the president harshly saying
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they were weighed in the balance and found wanting." so where do you go from here, senator mccain? >> first of all bill kristol is right. and want fact is, we have now reached a point where if you believe our military leaders and if there's anybody that's credible in america today, it is our military leaders where we will not have the proper training readiness, equipment in order to defend our national security issues, and requirements. the centrifuges in tehran are spin be. north koreans are testing nuclear weapons. the middle east is in a period of varying degrees of upheaval. al qaeda is spreading. so we're going to cut back on the training and readiness and capabilities of the men and women who are serving. we have an all-volunteer force. they deserve better. and to my republican friends as well as my democrat friend, if
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you think that's want right way to go, then you don't know what's going on in the world. and this sequester, it requires the president to lead and for us to sit down. if he will stop going out and running campaign events and bashing republicans and coming back to washington. why not take a day and invite us all over and work in out? because american national security is at risk. i can find billions in cuts in defense spending that are absolutely necessary and appropriated. not this way. not when our chief of staff of the army says that he's not going to be able to replace those who are fighting in afghanistan with qualified and trained people. >> schieffer: so what do republicans need to do, senator? >> i think we need to get off of sequestration highway. two-third of the federal government is exempt from sequestration. the things that bothers me the vote is a construct of trying to cut $2.3 trillion and if you failed $600 billion out of
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defense, and $600 billion out of nondefense and exempt parts of the government. the way forward is a big deal. this is an opportunity for congress to look at getting off want road of becoming greece. i would like to see the president and republicans and democrats reepigauge where they left off with boehner that we as republicans put $600 billion-- somewhere in that neighborhood-- of new revenue on the table by flattening the tax code eliminating deductions and exemptiones, take that money to take down debt, and go to entitlement reform to save truss becoming grief, and find a substitute for sequestration in a big deal, not a small deal. >> schieffer: do you all feel your party is somehow being held hostage? the president has talked about a commonsense caucus and we hear reports this morning that he started calling around, calling some republicans to see what can be done. are people on the extreme ends of your party holding want rest
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of you hostage here? >> frankly it's extreme ends of the party. i think a lot of it is just people who don't understand. we put up a proposal and most republicans voted for a "flixibility" for the president of the united states. i spent hundreds of hours with carl levin shaping a defense authorization bill. and now we're supposed to give all of that over to the britain of the property of the united states? that's a violation of my constitutional responsibilities. so i say in respect that it isn't so much want extremes as much as it is a lack of appreciation of the world woe live in, and this has been manifested at other times and other ways as well. >> schieffer: have you all been called by the president? woe hear from his people this morning that he is calling republicans and i guess that's the state of where we are when it's news the president has called members of the other
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party. >> we met with the president about immigration. we talked a little bit about sequestration. a little bit about benghazi. and it's good to talk. why can't we solve the nation's problems? you can blame both groups because at the end of the day it's going to take both of us to do what ronald reagan and tip o'neil did. what were they able to do? save social security from bankruptcy by talking to each other, getting smart people together, taking their ideas and voting on it. mr. president, you play the role of ronald reagan, we'll be tip o'neil. change the roles around. we can do the big deal if we have some leadership. >> schieffer: why not just keep the cuts? okay, you got want cuts that sequestration ordered. why not cope those cuts but write some legislation that says you'll glyph the president the flexibility to decide where within each of his departments those cuts will come. what would be wrong with that, senator mccain? >> first of all lindsey just gave you the number, disproportionate cuts to
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defense. defense is 19% of the discretionary spend the non-medicare non-social security. it's taken 50% of the cuts. and you put that on top of $487 billion, $87 billion already cut by secretary gates and you are talk about a "hollow army." if you deprive the military of the ability to train the ability to have flight hours for our pilots and air crews the ability of our people to have the right kind of equipment to fight with, then you are putting us in danger, in my view. >> schieffer: but wouldn't that be a way to start snow. >> no. >> schieffer: because you could say okay, you have to cutx number of dollars out of defense, but i'm going to let you, mr. president you secretary of defense decide where those cuts come in. you could-- you could keep want money that goes for training and those critical things and cut military bands or something like that. >> well, go ahead-- i'll let lindsey go ahead. but the fact is we spend three weeks on the floor of the
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senate hundreds of amendments, hours and hours of debate shaping a defense thanks, defense authorization bill authorizing want president to train, equipment, and man the military of the united states of america. so we're supposed to say form get all, that you do whatever you want, mr. president. that isn't the way the constitution dictates that we behave. >> here's why it won't work. wore taking $45 billion a year out of defensive department over the next decade. at the end of the decade, we're going to have the smallest navy in the-- since 19 fearnings 232 ships. no aimed of flexibility will avoid that. we're going to have want smallest air force in history. the smallest army since 1940. our defense spending will be below 3% of g.d.p. we will have a hollow force. personnel costs are exempted from sequestration. we're not taking military pay and sequestering it. you take all the systems except military pay and over a decade, you destroy the defense department.
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there's no amount of flexibility in the world will fix this. leon on panetta is right-- we're shooting ourselves in the headline as a nation and this is the dumbest idea he's seen in his years in government. >> and we'll be glad to sit down republicans democrats. wean that what this requires is just as you pointed out a way of avoiding what is-- again independent world of our chairman of the joint chiefs of staff-- a catastrophic effect on our nation's defense. and tell me a higher priority than national security. and look at the world today. >> the question is how you fix it. i'm not going to do any more small deals. i'm not going to raise taxes to fix sequestration. we don't need to raise taxes to fund the government. we snead to raise taxes to get our nation out of debt. $we have 16 trillion in debt. we need to clean up our tax code. not fix sequestration with more money. >> we had a proposal to cut spending to pay for this yearsy
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reductions in spending. it was not allow told have a vote on the floor independent senate by both democrat and republican leaders. >> schieffer: one of the things i want to shift a little bit, you said before you would be willing to vote for john brennan to be history cia. you wanted more information about all these e-mails-- and there were hundreds of then, i guess, that went back and forth between members of the administration during that week after the attack on benghazi. e-mails concerning what the administration spokesman who turned out took susan rice would say that following sunday on the sunday broadcast including this one. have you gotten any information? i understand the administration has released some e-mails. >> they have released-- one her story has complete collapsed under scrutiny, and i meksed this to the president. i want want f.b.i. interviews of the survivors. they were turned over to the intelligence committee and everything was blacked out.
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they're now take another chance of providing f.b.i. interviews so you can actually read what they say. the e-mail about who changedly the talking points, there's a big gap. i want to know who the survivors are so we can interview them. the transmissions from benghazi to washington in real time on the night of the attack. what were people asking for? what were they saying? all of that information was given to the committee completely blacked out. and i told the president, "this is to learn." i think benghazi is extent a in a failed foreign policy. leading from behind is not working, and we're trying to find out what happened on that night so we won't have any benghazis and i'm not going to vote for brennan until the c.i.a., who said they did change want talking points, lets us know who did it. >> schieffer: you're not going to vote for him-- >> i will stop. i think john and i are hell bent on making sure the american people understand this debacle called benghazi. the f.b.i. and cia never talked for weeks. we're going back to the
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pre--9/11 model. we don't know what the interview of the survivors tell us. there was never a video that spawned a riot. that whole story has been debunked and we're going to get to the bottom of it. >> schieffer: senator. i've had written questions for mr. brennan for three weeks and i've not received a single answer. i think we deserve a answers to those questions. >> schieffer: you are going to join senator graham. >> i hate to then the. the story tomorrow will be, "mccain and graham threaten--" why not get answers to the questions. they're not tough questions. >> schieffer: until you get the answers you're not going along with it. >> we certainly think we deserve the answers, and again it's our responsibilities on advise and consent to get answers to questions about nominees nominees to important positions. >> boch, it's a time-honored tradition when the administration puts somebody forward the senators have concerns or questions or
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information that they would like, that there's a give-and-take. and i'm going to insist on that-- i'm not going to vote on a new cia director until i find out what the cia did in benghazi. >> schieffer: gentlemen it's always a pleasure-- >> 60,000 dead in syria and we still haven't acted. >> schieffer: for the democratic response to all of that the assistant senate leader richard durbin joins us from chicago. senator, the floor is yours. >> it was great to hear my colleaguees, the two amigos. bob, i spend hours each week with both of them and a number of senatores democrats and republicans, and we're trying to write a new immigration bill. i think people who have given up on congress would be encouraged to know there's a real dialogue, bipartisan dialogue, and perhaps, just perhaps we can set the stage for a more positive dialogue when it comes to the budget. >> schieffer: you think something can happen and you're working with them? you think there is a serious
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bipartisan effort on this. >> myself mike bennett marco rubio, jeff flake, and the two amigos you just had on board here have buckled down. woe meet virtually every day in a bipartisan effort to write an immigration bill. the president supports this. i think it can be achieved. when i listen to lindsey graham talk about where we need to go with deficit reduction what he is saying is basically the construct of the bowles and simpson commissions, notion of putting everything on the table-- revenue spends you cuts entitlement reform. if we did that, we'd avoid these manufactured crieses like the one workplace in right now. >> schieffer: i think we are beyond arguing about who's fault it is on how we got here. i think there's plenty of blame for both sides and i would guess you probably agree with that. but where do you go now? what is the next step? they're saying the president needs to get people together again and try to sit down at the table and talk about this.
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how do you think you get them there? and is that the way to do it? >> you know, bob i'm almost aafraid to say it-- the american people over the last two years-plus have been watching washington lurch from threaten shutdowns, the words "fiscal cliff" become common in the american language. now we know what it's all about. the sequestration world is common. unfortunately in three weeks we face another one the expiration of the continuing resolution, meaning the funding bill for government expires in three weeks. we have to agree how to finish the year until september 30. creates an opportunity for to us sit down, the president and congressional leaders and come up with an answer that is sensible to deal with sequestration, as well as with the remainder of this year. >> schieffer: have you ever seen washington as gridlocked as it is at this particular time? >> no, i never have and '05 been through rough periods. i can recall the ascendancy of
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newt gingrich and what it meant for us. it was a frustrating and emotional upheaval in washington, but what we have here is a steady diet and i don't want to point firngz but i will. the house republican approach to this is we're either going to do it exclusively with republicans or not at all. only when pushed to absolute extreme will they allow a bipartisan vote. what woe heard from my colleaguing-- and i hope what i'm saying is starting a bipartisan dialogue. if the house would embrace the same concept i am certain certain the president would sit down in good faith and get us through this. >> schieffer: let me ask you about one side show that came along this week and that was the flap between bob woodward, the legendary watergate reporter, and the white house woodward basically suggested the white house was trying to intimidate reporters. what's your take on that? >> well, it's all about gene sperling an economic adviser to
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the president as he was to president clinton and e-mails he exchanged with bob woodward. i have known gene sperling for many many years. and if you ask everyone who knows him to describe him the world "threatening" is the last word that would come out of your mouth. that is not gene sperling. that's not who he is. what he said is "i think you'll come to regret" what bob woodward assert and would a regret can mean more than whether or not he's going to be threatened in terms of his status with the white house. he may come to regret it because it's wrong. gene sperling is not a threatening person. and although emotions were running high, at the end of their e-mail exchange, it's pretty clear they're both on a very friendly status. >> schieffer: all right well, senator we want to thank you for giving us the democrats anti-side of the story. we'll be back and talk to bob woodward about this in just a minute.
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>> schieffer: we're back now with the legendary and a lot of people call legendary-- you really are one bob-- bob woodward the author of the book "the price of politics" which is considered the definitive book on how the sequester came about. but, of course, europe best known for the watergate days and your work there bob. you've been in a scrap or two with various white houses over the years starting with the nixon white house. but you-- you took note when white house official, gene sperling it turned out to be, told you-- what did he say-- you would regret? >> iright, staking out this position. >> schieffer: and you took that as sort of a veiled threat. >> what happened, two very good reporters from politico came to me and they'd written a very thoughtful piece about from the white house other reporters and people and kind of a message
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management they thought was extreme. and i cited that sperling e ee-mail as not the way to operate. i never said it was threatening. i said this just won't work. it won't work. >> schieffer: basically, what you said was look, i'm a grown person. i've been around a long time, these things don't bother me, but you worry maybe more inexperienced reporters might be intimidated. >> like all white houses, they don't like to be challenged. i spent months on this book, and there's a part of the reporting that's not in the boch that i did a column a week ago for the "post" and showed the white house really came up with the idea of the sequester. it's an awful world automatic spending cuts. and they didn't like that, and i've had a back-and-forth with gene sperling. now today this morning i understand he said know-- >> schieffer: what he said
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was, "i hope we can put this behind us." >> and the answer is yes. he's a peacemaker. i am in the business of listening, and i'm going to invite him over to my house if he'll come and hopefully he'll bring others from the white house, maybe the president himself, and we can-- you know, talking really works. . >> schieffer: it really works on this. all right we've got a minute here. how do you think the country washington, gets out of this mess wore in now? >> i think what's sad is that there is this bunker mentality in the white house it and within the republican party and something surfaces and people jump on it and say "oh, this is good for obama so we're going to embrace. this is bad for obama we're going to denounce it." what we forget is-- and you know, you live in this zone. you and i have been around for a
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long time, this very narrow zone of neutrality, nonpartisan let's find out the facts. that's what i'm trying to do. and i think it's sad that the president hasn't seized control of his own presidency in fact. >> schieffer: all right we'll talk a lot more about this during the roundtable. i'll be back in just a minute with my own thoughts on this. and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help people and businesses who were affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy -- and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. we've shared what we've learned with governments and across the industry so we can all produce energy more safely. i want you to know, there's another commitment bp takes just as seriously: our commitment to america. bp supports nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs
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is. >> schieffer: last week i heard the senate chaplain pray for help to save us from ourselves. i would guess a lot of americans are praying to save us from them "them" being official washington. what we saw last week was a complete breakdown of the american political system and a government and administration, the senate and the house that has lost the political will and yes, the political competence to fix it. the so-called sequestration was designed to inflict such horrible cuts in federal spending that no one with half a
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brain would allow them to happen. this the theory went, would leave congress and want white house no alternative but to find sensible ways to put the country's finances in order. i would never say the mamajorlt of people in washington have less than half a brain but the fact is sequestration did happen. it is as if washington has separated itself from the rest of america in order to spend its time on things of concern only here, score settling, fund-raising, blame game other while leaving the rest of the country to fend for itself. i don't know where this goes, but i do upon it is not how america became a super power and if history is a guide certainly no way to remain one. back in a minute. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills. ♪ ♪ yup. another pill
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♪ ♪ >> it's the high-flying, high-energy racing thrills show that is monster energy supercross. the edward jones dome in st. louis, missouri. the next stop, ryan vilopoto got
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introduced to the crowd signing a st. louis cardinals' jersey and handing it over to the fan. world championship ready for round number nine. the riders for heat number one are at the line as we get set to go racing right away here many st. louis. in st. louis. we're going to have two heat races for you, we're going to take the top nine and head straight to the main event then our final two riders out of our last chance qualifier, 20 riders, 20 laps in the main event. it's always been a great building. >> yeah. it sure has. this place is always, the dirt is really good here, and it's always, the track design is always fun and it's exciting to come to to build up before the race weekend. and it's showing these guys look like they'r
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